By Stephanie Brownlee.
While we all have our well-frequented favourites when it comes to Saturday brunching and Brisbane’s best macchiato, there's nothing like discovering a newcomer making a play for top spot.
The suburban venues have been scoring top points for their cafe offerings of late, but the CBD is attempting to reclaim the title of foodie heartland, with a plethora of exciting new gems cropping up among the city’s hatted and starred foodie landscape. We’ve put together a list of recently opened spots dishing up the best:
With mobile wooden counters and minimalist décor, Roma Street’s Contessa is the sister café to West End’s Black Star Coffee and the perfect place to take your hipster friends on weekends. For now they are selling their famed brew and specialty beans to go but will soon have pastries and seating ideal for many a work morning rendezvous.
154 Roma St
The city’s burgeoning laneway culture is spurred on with the addition of Strauss – nestled in a sleek laneway off Elizabeth St. The coffee haven is sure to become one of Brisbane’s worst-kept secrets with its delicious all-day breakfast dishes inspired by seasonal produce.
189 Elizabeth st
Tucked beneath Archives Fine Books in the heritage-listed John Mills Building on Charlotte St, accessible via the driveway at 55 Elizabeth Street (need a map yet?) this bar come bistro is the kind of place you serendipitously stumble across and may struggle to find again. But with exposed brick walls, timber beams and a selection of local coffee blends, craft beer plus organic nibbles, it’s definitely worth searching for!
40 Charlotte st
Owned by former Wallaby captain George Gregan, the lofty-luxe George Bar & Bistro and GG Expresso are both now open at the One One One Building on Eagle Street. Fast becoming popular with city workers craving an Allpress Coffee hit, they are also ideal for chic long lunches, breakfast meetings and even Friday drinks.
111 Eagle st
The workers of George and Ann Street welcome The Cutting Board, their new corner-store establishment and the king of comfort food not for the faint-hearted or those who prefer to nibble on celery sticks. Vittoria Coffee is served via street-side window from 6am every week day morning and seriously hearty, fine cuts of most meaty dishes you can dream up are available for lunch.
275 George St
Think masculine leather seating, mahogany joinery, dim lighting, assorted antique accessories and whole lot of old-world charm and you’re probably imagining the Gresham Bar. Nestled away on the edge of Gresham Lane branching off Queen Street, it has been causing quite the buzz with its extensive range of hard-to-find bourbons and whiskies. A must-try is their adults-only Spyder cocktail.
308 Queen St
Sitting on the border of Fortitude Valley and the CBD, Pallet Cafe at the top of Adelaide Street pays homage to the nearby Story Bridge with images of its construction and recycled bolts. For those who have worked up a serious appetite, love an all-day breakfast (who doesn’t?), creamy milkshakes and always say yes to seeing the dessert menu – this is the place for you!
501 Adelaide St
Other recent additions to the Brisbane city food scene include Chapter Two, Felix Espresso and Winebar, Paleo Café and Pop Coffee. Opening later in the year are Blackbird Bar & Restaurant (Friday 28 February) and Kiss the Berry and Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian in the heritage listed Rowes Arcade.